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Las Vegas: Wildfire forces closure of hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon

July 11, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • Smoke drifting from the Carpenter 1 fire partly obscures the view of hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday. The wildfire forced the closure of hiking trails at Red Rock Canyon.
Smoke drifting from the Carpenter 1 fire partly obscures the view of hotel-casinos… (Ethan Miller / AFP Getty…)

The Las Vegas-area wildfire that has affected air quality in Clark County prompted the closure Thursday of hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area.

The Carpenter 1 fire spread Thursday into a remote part of Red Rock Canyon. The area's scenic loop was closed to motorists for part of Thursday morning, but the loop has since reopened.

The visitor center is operating as usual.

The fire's spread had slowed somewhat by Thursday; about 28,000 acres in the region commonly called Mt. Charleston have been scorched, an increase of about 3,000 acres from Wednesday. At least six structures have burned.

More than 1,200 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, but complete containment is not expected until July 19. The fire is the result of a July 1 lightning strike.

Smoke from the fire has hung over the Las Vegas Strip at various times, worsening the air quality at one point and prompting officials to warn residents and visitors that it had become unhealthful. But the situation has improved, and the air quality is now being labeled as "moderate."

Still, those who are at risk, including children, older people and those with respiratory ailments, are urged to stay inside.

Thunderstorms are expected Thursday evening, according to Weather.com. Highs today were in the 90s but are expected to climb over the century mark for the weekend.

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